Beckham signs for duke’s wildlife conservation team

The Duke of Cambridge started a campaign yesterday in which sports stars will team up to save endangered wild animals. The initiative, #Whose-SideAreYouOn, will use ambassadors including David Beckham, Andy Murray and Lewis Hamilton to raise awareness of wildlife crime using social media such as Twitter. It has been created by United for Wildlife, of which the duke is president.

Beckham signs for duke’s wildlife conservation team


Prince William said: “Around the world, the illegal wildlife trade is responsible for the slaughter of tens of thousands of animals a year, pushing some of our most beloved species to the brink of extinction. Our children should not live in a world without elephants, tigers, lions and rhinos. Enough is enough. It is time to choose between critically endangered species and the criminals who kill them for money.”

Deforestation in the Amazon rises again

The problem of deforestation in the Amazon has resurfaced after years of decline — prompting calls for urgent action.

Izabelle Teixeira, Brazil’s Environment Secretary, said that farming and soybean production were largely responsible for a 32 per cent rise in forest destruction in the northern state of Para, and a 52 per cent leap in Mato Grosso, a vast state in the west which provides much of the country’s agricultural produce.

The total area stripped of native forest in the past year amounted to 2,256 square miles, a 28 per cent jump nationwide, she said. The root of the problem was lax monitoring and application of protection measures.

Deforestation in the Amazon rises again

Under Brazilian law, landowners in the Amazon have to devote 80 per cent of their property to native forestry growth, although the figure has not been rigorously enforced. Brazil’s agriculture industry is one of the bread baskets of the world, and its expansion has been driven, in particular, by growing demand from China.

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon fell in the past decade. In 2012, it stood at 1,764 square miles, down from 2,487 square miles the year before. In 2004, the worst year on record, 10,400 square miles of forest was cleared.

“Our commitment is to overturn any increase in deforestation; our goal is to eliminate deforestation,” Ms Teixeira said.

Last year, Brazil’s environmental codes were relaxed slightly to allow farmers to cultivate riverbanks and hillsides that had been previously exempt, prompting anger from environmental activists.

This article is provided by Catherine.